Media and entertainment trends: Even more changes on the way

Communications Writer

A major transformation has shaken the media and entertainment business over the past 10 years. It's hard to imagine another industry that has experienced the same major shift. Disruption is a natural part of business, of course, but the pace of change in media and entertainment trends has been breathtaking.

It's all about personalization

Ten years ago, no one thought about watching videos on a smartphone, searching for news on Facebook or tweeting their thoughts on an outrageous Super Bowl commercial. Those technologies didn't exist yet. Although they've seemingly been around for a lot longer, the hardware and software that created existential crises for many forms of media and entertainment entities all came into use in the last decade. In the blink of a digital eye, businesses went from broadcasting the same message to everyone to narrowcasting a personalized experience to a fragmented audience. Disruption, indeed. Both industries will continue to be transformed over the coming years.

It's not that running a media or entertainment business was easy 10 years ago, but the industry had the game plan down: Create content, distribute it and hope it finds an audience. Wash, rinse, repeat. Today's fragmented, multiplatform audience demands a different approach, however, because it's rare that large numbers of people watch the same event now, with the Super Bowl being perhaps the most prominent exception. Even then, viewers are probably watching at least one other screen during the event. look at the next five years

It's notoriously difficult to predict the future; we would have flying cars by now if futurists were right. That said, peering a few years into the future is possible, and it's a downright necessary exercise for businesses who don't want to be blindsided by tomorrow's trends. Here are some of the media and entertainment trends that experts foresee for the next five years:

  • Mobile will continue to be king. Americans already spend 60 percent of their online time on a mobile device, according to a comScore report, and mobile's dominance is projected to accelerate over the next few years.
  • More data will mean more accountability from advertisers. They understand that media and entertainment companies know a great deal about their viewers and customers, and they'll demand even more personalization in advertising than what exists today. As Kiip CEO Brian Wong wrote in The Wall Street Journal, "With social media, YouTube and Netflix serving up exactly what the user wants ... personalization is no longer a luxury, but an expectation."
  • The Internet of Things will thrive. Tomorrow's connected devices will just be another digital medium for customers to consume content, experts say. According to Gartner, more than 25 billion connected devices will be in use, including tennis rackets, by 2020.

Meeting the future head on

Increasingly, media and entertainment companies will use big data to create a holistic view of their customers. Companies have strips of disconnected data that will be knit together to form a more complete customer snapshot. Demographic, subscription, viewing and reading preferences will become increasingly important for retaining customers in the coming years. This information is available now; smart organizations are partnering with providers who can help them analyze their data if they don't have the expertise in-house.

Traditionally, media and entertainment companies have relied on gut feelings when making impactful decisions. Analytics allows executives to test their intuition against quantifiable data. If the future of media and entertainment is all about the experience, companies will need to decide what data is truly meaningful and incorporate big data when they make big decisions. The industry has been disrupted and is still transforming, pushing companies to take advantage of the unprecedented amount of customer data they possess. Big data is here to help.

Media and entertainment is a rapidly changing industry, see how IBM solutions provide market leading analytics capabilities to ensure a sustainable consumer experience.